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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  November 2, 2009 11:00pm-12:00am EST

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>> rose: welcome to the broadcast. tonight, aonversation with one of the most importanteligious figures in t world. he is his a holiness, the ecumenical barhat will kne of constantinle. he's the leader of 300 million orthodox christians. we spoke i atlan during his currt visit to the united states. tomorrow in washington he meets with president oba. >> the only message that people of religion lik myselfcould give tthe world cmunity is to reect everybody. all human bein as created in the image andikeness of god. and to hp.
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jesus chst said whatever you do for my smalest, poorest people, bthers, you aredoing to me. so he is, the lord, identifies himself with tho people. and whater we do for them, we do forhrist. you can realize our great responsibility. >> rose:n elusive convertion with his all holiness ecumenalatriarch bartholomew of constantinople coming up.
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captioningponsored by se communications from our studios in neyork city, th is charlie rose. >> re: his all holiness, ecumenical patriarch btholomew of consttinople, is the primary spiritual leader of t orthodox christian world andhe orthodox churc which has 300 million meers around the world. it includes the churches of alexania and jerusalem, russia serbia, romania, bulgaria, georgia, cyus, greece, poland, albaa, the check reap, slovakia, finland, estonia and merous archdiocese in the ol and w world. he is t 270th successor of the 2000-yeaold local christian church foued by st. andrew the apostle. the orthodox religion was found in 1054 after a splitwith a catholic church over the primacy of the pope. the relion spread to russia, greece, easternurope and more recently to e united states.
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today orthodo remains one of the most popularorm of ristianity. his l holiness s born in 1940 on the turkish island of'm bruce. his father was a barbershop owner. he enrolled inheological school graduating with hh honors in 1961. october 22, 1991, he was elected the 270th archbhop of constantinop. heas enthroned in the patriarchal cathedral in tanbul. from theeginning he has been on a ssion to modernize the church and make more levant. early on, became identified with environntalism by incorporating yet to his spiritl message, he has preached in the irit of dialue and understanding among all religions. whe there are chrez yas ca fferences with the catholic church, he has met with the pope several mes. he had veral meets th john ul in th 1990s andmet with benedi in turkey.
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he's met with leaders around the world, including fide castro and moammar qaddafi. his holeryness is we known in america having receid the congressional gold med and met with the pastthree psidents. he's o his sixth viz hit in the uned states. it began in new orleans wheree attended a symposium poution in the mississippi river. he travel new yo where he met with ban ki-moon. tomorrow in whington hewill et wh president obama and attend diners in his honor e secretary of state and vic president. in 2008 he publisd a book called "enunter the myery: undetanding orthodox ristianity today." i met himwith in aanta last week at the c.e.o. of coca-cola, a turkh citizen whose father was a distinguished turkish diplomat the conversation began with a estion about his role as he saw it. tell mabout your role. >> by the grace of god i am the rst bishop in the whole
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orthod church worldwide you may knee in the orthodox urch weave the pncipal of the independe urches whi are free to coordinate and organize their interl affairs. the lal churches elect the primate d the role of the ecumenical patriarchs it is historic title of thepatriarch of constantinople, today istanbul, is a role of primacy of honor andove. and a roleof coordination among all the orthodox churche througho the world. we havemany examples even from
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the rece history o church where thole of coordinati, ofheecumenical patriarc is quite clear and also the ecenical patriarchy has a duty tossist, to help the other sister orthodox crcheshen they have internal problems for the solution of which they need the higher asstance. ofhe first st of thewholly orthod church. recently, ly a few years a we had such cases with jerusal with the autocephus church of cyprushich asked for the assistance,the internional... intervention o thecumenical patriarchy ande offered brotrly assistance with great
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love so this is the role of the i c youen cal patriarch. ecumenical. we also coordinate dialogues with the oer cistian churches andenominations. in fact, it was on the initiative of the ecumenical patriarch that we started almost 25 years ago an official bilateralheological dialog with the church of ro, with the anglican communion,he lutheranorld federation and so on. we havehis kinof dialogues, theologicalialogues with all the other chrisan brothers and sisters. but 2 years ago the ecumenical patriah took the initiative to iniate academicialogues with the other mon theistic
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religis as well,srael and judaism. and we he con voced several conferences,eetings with th. some of them in ianbul in my seat under the tle peace a tolerance. >> rose: you were considered first among equals of the ne patriarchs. why is there? >> this out o historical reasons because constantinoe, today istanbul, was the cital of the eastern roman empire. as such, the ecumecal uncils especiallyecond one, is 3, and the fourth ecumecal counl, 4501 gave some
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progatives to the churc of constantinople which are always valid and that iwhy today in e 21s chen rry the same hierchical order and the same church dcipline is valid in the orthodo familyand all the other sister orthodox churchs do recognize this primacy ofove and nor to the church of constantinople. whichrimacy is not primacy of domition, of... or of jurisdicti but its a primy of service. we interpr our primacy as such. as svice to the unity of the orthod family.
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and iaid, to codinate on orthodox affairs. >> rose: i want to make this a kind of primer for my audience around the world in tms of undersnding christianity and where orthodox is within christiandom a how you see the difference i termsf western and eastern. >> you know that t great schism, separati, between christian east and the christian west took place in the year 10. nce we are unfortunately separated andll of the theological dialogues among divided christians i mentioned paino reestabsh this unity between st and west.
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the meantime, unfortunately in the christian westwe had another division. i mean protestan >> ros rht. >> which left the roman catholic church and formed anoerhurch grou with several subdivisions, to y. and our dialogue wihem, too, with our protestant brothers and sisters s to t same say credit goa the reestablishment of perfectnity. so in the christian et which remains without communion with the western christiany, the church o consttinople, the triarch of constantinople became the first.
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d we haveell-established hierchicalrder according to which after constant nopeal we have the patriarchat of antioch and then jerusalem and tse are the four ancient patriarchats of the christian east. an then we have patriarchats of eastern europe, rsia, serbia, romania, and so on. d after they have we have autocephus, independt orthodox churches wch doot bearhe tit of a patriarchat. russia and all other sister churches which areutocephalus toy were under the
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jurisdicon of constantinople. in the 16th century russia became autocephalous, independen and later churches, the balkans, beme autocephalous urches. some sayethnic churcs. i don't like this term. i would like local... i would like to say localindependent or aucephalou because overt doxy must note identifi with ethnicy, it must be open to everybody. rose: but are tre dtrinal fferences? >> no. between... among the orthodox... local orthodox churches there is t any dock trialal.... >>ose: and between thewest and between pope benedict and... >> the pain diffence between uss the pricy of thepope,
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the pme say of the bishop of rome withinhe context of the whol christian church. accoing to the belief, the interpretation of e roman caolic church, this primacy is a primacy giv by god. and it giveso theope a such jurisdiction all over the chriian world. accordg to t interpretation of our orthodoxhurch, thi primacy of the bishop of rome is exactly as it is tod the primacy of the church of nstantinople witn the orthodox family. now in the framework of our theological dialogue between catholic and orthodox, the main
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issuender the liberatn... under diussion is precisely the matter of e issue of primacy. ly a few days ago we had on the island of cyprus the meeting of the internation mixed commission between orthox and cathics and it continued o the basis of prepared drafts, texts. they discussed the issue of the primacy of the pe. of coue this is a difficult question, e main question of which differentiates rom and orthody and this dialogue with good will and mutual
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understandingnd love wl continue until we reach a common agreement, consensu >> rose: and youhink that's possib? >> it is posble. we must beptimistic. in the gospel.... rose: (laughs) >> in the gospel it is said tha whatever is impossible to human beings it is poible to god. and we pray and work to reali his divine which l which is that all those w believe in h may be one. it will time because the separation between east and west goes back 11th century. and such large gap of aost ten centurys i not easy to ffill from oneay to another.
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but it is ry important that we start this dialogue of love from the beginning and latern dialogue of truth in this last 40 t 50 years and see each other no more a enemies with aggression to eachother. but really truly as brothers christ ande aspire,both of us the same full and pfect unity. the late pope paul vised to say that orodox and cathols are almo uted. quasi-uniti.
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rose: (laughs) >> so we must work and pray to lift up 6p, to elimite, to almost have this perfect union according to the wilof our lord. >>ose: you're in the united states. this ithe sixth time you have been here. you return to new orlean you participated a symposium. you were with the sectary generaland former president clinton an hers in whington you'll meet with the president, secretary of state, vice president and others. at do you hope to accomplish in your visit? >> i came to the united state, as y said, for our eight international interfaith and
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interdisciplary environmental symposiuwhich took place last week in new orleans. we have this series of ecogical symposia in ordero create sensitivity and then areness ang o own faithful but not only. this is a real concern of the church as it is and must be a concern of all of the han kind human beings because weee everyday more and more t dangers and e threats of climate change, of pollution and so on and we have to create this awareness and sensitivity so that a least hour children and
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grandchildren may live in a me human, more beautiful, more clean wor. usually we speak abouthe education of our children and good food of our children but at about the air that ty breathe and theater theyrink now and tomrow and after tomorrowe have to think of the comingenerations, the posterity. thats beauty of the church and that is why the ecumenical patriarchat initiated this symposium. environmental activy. noi came to the unit states not only for this symposium but in ord to visit and to bless our faithful here underthe
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ecumenical patriarchat who are almost two million and generally speaking a the orthodox ving in the united states who are five million. in fact, the other day we met with archbisho in the metropolitans ling this orthodoxroups orthod churches inhe states d tried to he mutual undstand an fruitful cooperation in order to give positiveood nice christian witnesto the american commuty and to strethen in fai o own faithf. >> rose: mynderstanding is that somewhere between 250 and 300 millio members of the
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orthodox church. >> yes. thughout the world >> rose: throughout the world. i thk it was al ge but i may have bn someone else w rst called you the green patrrch. (laughs) you accept tha >> thank y. it's an hono for me it is recognitionif youike of our humble environmental activities it is gd for mo general spreading out of this environmental message. >> rose: your ssage i spiritual. that it is a spirual responsibility.. >>t is. >> rose:... of the church and its leaders for you to cnect whthe anet and spirituity. i used to they ecological problem is not nearly economic or a polital problem.
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it is mainly a spiritual and ethical questio. because it shows our relation notnly to god or with god but also our relatn with the creator of everything according to ouraith butlso our relationo his creation bause e creation of go islso say cet credit and we ve to respect it and to protect it according to e order of the fit book of the old stament and simply touse it and not to abuse , think of the coming generations who mu share the same treasures, the se resources of the planet as we do
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today. >> rose: so h do you pla to use your influence to mak a difference? >> mainly, as i said,hrough creang consciousness of responsibility, for respect and protection of the natural environment ofhe planet of which we are simply stewards and not owners. >> re: all right. you also have interesting ideas abouthe global economy. >> well, we.... >> rose: give us your economic. >> we live and we experience economic... world econoc crisis, all ofs. >> rose: yes. >> but in e last analysis,
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th economic crisi is a cris of values ariorities. if theregoes to be more social justice, more human aproe to poverty re love in the chriian.... >> rose:o you have econom leaders and business leaders t to forget the fact we have two larg segments of the population that are po >> and the ach and we have to establish the balan. >> rose: whawould you hav them do? >> you know i'm of the pope's messagesof t first day ofhe new years wch always a message
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the day of peace as it is declared proclaimed bhe church ofrome so that we don't he social justice weannot obtain permanent peace around the globe. so if we ha to understandhe probms of the so-caed third world any poor feow human being and to bef help. of course, is is mainly the job of piticians, of leaders ofgreat financial organizations e only message of people o religion li myself couldive the world cmunity to respect everybody, all human
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beings, as cated in themage and likeness of god. d to be of help. christ said that whatever you do for mymallest poost people, brothers, ure doing to me. so he, the lord, ideifies himself with those people syou ca realize our great responsibility ithese context. >>ose: are we forgotten that, yothink, as asociety? >> unfortunatel y. and have to rebuild a more
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just world commity. the rd is not "st" but i can't find thether. fair. >> rose: fair. yes, fair. so the sen of oking at this obal economic crisis that we arjust beginning to recover froms that was fueled by economic succs in part... i meanyoudmonish all leaders to think of those least among us who ha notenefited and as we understand the benefits of free market and the benefits of differt economic systems make sure that we do not realize that everyone ds not benefit an that we have a responsibily and it's a spiritual responbility tourellow... >> this wi be at the lt analysis to the benefit of ourselves.
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of all of thehuman communi becaus this will a great contribution to creating stable peace around the globe and mutu understanding and avoid the rev t. thosepposed and will bring peace d equality which will be to the nefit of all of the human community. >>ose: one might ask, is the urch doing you have? is the church communicatg well enough whether it'sslam, whetr it's christianity, whether it's judsm. it's a huge responsibility to
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have us understandalues, fairness, equity. >> tbe honest, no. ligion has done a loot throughout the centuri for us christians christiity give the strongest message and t essence ofur christian faith is love and rpect fohe huma person. t neither christianity nor the her mono theistic religions succeeded to bring peacend
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love andespect all over the globe ase experience it everyday. because repsentatives of religions are also human begs, it means not perfect. theyhave their own the things, they he their ownincapacities and willingsss to fulfill their sacre responsibilities. sometimes not ternal but objective, exterl rbs. pribit us toulfill our saed mission a task and that
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is why whatever religions proclaim d promise is not the realitin the life of humans. >> ros what happens,t seems to m is that the extreme eds ofarious religious ith captur and u for themselves the majesty of the church or the soulf the church and uset for political es. >> in some cases in history, yes we cannot reject it, it realy. but i rememberow that when
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only a few months after my election ascumenical patriarch i conned all heads of urches at the patriarat in istanbul and we had the first meeting of the head of the ohodox churches. we signed a together a message to our faithful and the world andin that tt of our message we condemned theusing of religion for political and nationalistipurposes and gls so today officially the orthodox chur rejects the useorbuse of religion for polical purposes. >> re: but so many wars also have been fout about relion. or not?
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>>ometimes we minterpret confcts and wars as being created by ligion. >> rose: whent's about power. >> but, in fact, it is politics or political inrest tt provoke ese cflicts and not ligion. i believehat recent conicts in t balkans althoh were interpreted as clash or conflict between faiths,eligions it was only for political interest or onomic interest thathey took place, not out ofdifference of relious beliefs. >> rose:ome ofhe most savage
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fighting during the iraqi war was between shiit and sunn thin the church. the sectari batts were the most intense. yet athe same time there's a great hope now in iraq that kurds and sunni and sha can come togher. that is why we need t interfaith dialogue and that is y the umenical patriarchat reived this message 25 years ago and initiated this diague between dferent faiths among e mono theistic rigions in order to bring me understanding and mutual respect and to avo religious fanaticism, fundantalism and to give e a oprtunity to
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man beings to see each other as brothers because were all created by the same godand as such we arerothers and sisters between ourselves. we have the sameeavenly father whever we call him. and as being.... >> rose: we of all regions havehe same heavenly father. >> of course. god is but e indendently on e name we giv him, aah or yahweh and so on. god is one and are hi children a we have to love and understandach other. >> rose: how ar you dog with the turkish govement? >> now better >> re: (laughs) >> it is true that we have h serious problems as grk
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orthodoxommunity, as ecumenical paiarchat and al e other minorities living i tuey. now e situation is much better. ouprime minister is worng hardero bring turkey into t european union as a full member. this is a real and corete aspiration of the psent administraon and we minorities have already expienced some positi changes whic are not enough we do expector more quick forms in the turkish society. >> rose: what reforms do you expect? >> >> for instae freedom, absote freedom of religion a
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a concrete example of. that woulde the reopeningf our school of eology, it was closed down in the ye 1971. which prohibited the ecumenical patriarchat to train the ung geration of its staff d also the pele ed the commune cal patriahat aoad. we need th restitution o giving back to us of the churc propertiesaken away fro our hands through non-legal methods
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and waste. this will provhat aeal change of mind. >> rose: do yo believe that the ime minister is listening to you? >> >> he has the good ll to do so. it isnot always easy to fulfill his plans, hisesires. it will take time maybe but we belie that it will for the benefit of rkey and its image abad to do these reform and ing respect, bring back respect for human rights and the most iortant is respect of ligious freedom as soon as
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possible. >>ou support the membership of turkey in the european union? >> yes, i do. we do at the triarchat. >> rose: and do yobelieve that if it does notook promising that turkey will lk in another direction? eastather thanwest? >> well, these arepolitical questions and i am not involved in the pitics but i sh i could see a soon as possible rkey being full part, full member of the europn society as the dream and the aspiration of the fnder of modern turkey. >> he believed ts in a true secular state. >> in order to bring turkey into the europea familynd that is whhe did so ma refor in
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his te >> rose:peaking of political leers, what do you ink o president oba? >> i metim shortly in istanbul a w months ago and the impreson he gave me was a very sitive one. thempression of a man humbled, human, a man w knows a wants to lten to the other. and am very happy and honored that hccepted to recve me next wee, next tuesday at the white house. this is the case of his predecessors clton and bush who botheceived me in waington with grt hons
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which belonged to the patriarch at to this very ancient religious instution of ours and notimply to my person. and even presidentlinton paid an official visit to the ecumenicalatriarchat to istanbul as sitting president. this was unique in recent history. >> rose: and suppose the presidensaid to your holiness "what n i do for you? and at can i do for your church what would you say? >> iould answer to him in more general tms saying that h as the leader of this grea country which influences so my things
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around the globe has to create this full respectof han right amg themeligious freedomnd respect of the rights of minorities everywhere because this will be a rl contribution to the eablishment of a permanent peace and to avoiding conflicts because of injustices he has the responsibility and the posbility to do so ch to this direction. and course in this context, in this framework they are first the problems our church a our minori in turkey are
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included. >> rose: you'd like him to put that on the turkish agenda next time he tas to the prime minister. >> our prime minister is coming very soon to washgton. in november. >> rose: and human rights is an inrnational... is alobal value. >> and if the united stes of erica pays great atttion to this iss of human rights. >> ros tell me000 you see a anging sense of america an at the worldxpects from america? >> we appreciate the general speaking of opensss all courageousinitiatives taken by political leaders and the leader
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of the united states of america which, as i said, has a great impact, fluence, all over the world. china, you mentioned cha is a huge country with more than one billion inhabitants. soo createnot simply good economical relatio, financial relatis with china betwe the united states and china but eate andstablish morend more trust, nfidence, among ese two great countries we'll be of great importance for world
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peace. the message that psident obama gave since the very binning of tenure in for of the diogue with islam is so very posite because it bringsunderstanding among o mono theistic relion with so many faithful followe around the glo, these a courageous sps towards establishing the peace to which well aspire. >> rose: as you know, i'm doing a sies of conversations th members of islamic world. what would be yo mesge as a... one of the most important religious leadersin the rld to islam?
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>> to respect all humans. toteach loveand respect. to cperate with all people of good will not to live isolated but in cating, in ilding bridges with the other faiths and other cultures andfrom this point of view we appreciate very mu the initiative of the turkish prime ministernd the spanish prime mister to bring togethernd closer the civilizations christian western and eastern muslim civilization. this is need, a must in our
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era. >> rose: you wrote book called "eountering theystery. understanding orthodox christianitytoday." what's the mystery? >> the mystery is whateveexist behindisible things, orthodoxy eastern christianity pays great atntion and value to spirituality,o kwn... non-se things but lived, experienced out of faithecause of our faith. anthese things are etern, are pernent, do not chan, they are created by god as valid
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for all generations, all plac, all ages and t fathers pecially fathe of christian east have spoken reatedly on the necessity transcend material thin that they need and tory to approac d live and experiencehe mysteries of the kingdom of god w is coming no simply coming but according tohe gospel starts since ts very life on earth, so my
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tention goesoremind people of these lues, these eternal thin, these things not seen with our es bu which is nevertheless theeality and ich gives us he for the kingdom of god and for eteity. >> rose: it is said with respect about u that this high exalted place that y set hasbeen and metimes honor riff i can that you have energed it, haveade it moreowerful, have made it more visible, he madet more
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part of the conversation. what have you done? >> thank youor that. snipe aughs) >> ihink that i simply... i'm simply a servantf god and of my faith. i tried to do myest according to t necessities and ssibilities of today beginning of the 21st century, to be in contact wi the rlity of everyday lif not to live only in theor or only within the wools the church, but to be esent in among m faiful everywhere, that's why i tvel a lotnd sometimes i am
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iticized that i travel too much. but my feeling is that ef to bring the message of the gpel, the love of thehurch, the syathy of the crch all over the world. but if you like, if i am permitted to say notnly to orthodox fth but to all human beings an environment for which worknd try to make a small contribution is t a matter of unorthodox oy. it is matter of all of human beings. i tried to transm the messe ofove and reect, of cours, for god our creator f all of our fellow human beings and for thereation there i repeat i
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is sacred beuse it came out of the hands of god, the ecumenical patriarct is a very, very portant historic religious based in turkey, in istanbul of today for 1,700ears, if you can imagine, mr. rose. and such an old instituon which ofrs so many things to the church and the humankind, not on as religion but also as civilization, cultu, must be protected in order surve, to continue its emenical mission, its ecumenical message
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which is spiritual, is human is a messagof love, tolerance, reconciliati this is what i tryo do. and if the is such a positive appreciaon of my humble deeds, this is an honor r me. >> rose: as it is for me tosit with you. i ank you very much fo this time. >> thank you. >> rose: our thanks his holinessnd all the peoplewho de this cversation possible. we will beginoon a new series of conversations about religion and about politics. it is call "voic of islam" in which we will travel the globe talking t members of the muslim faith about h theyee their role and their world and the faith. we pe you will join us for those conversaons. thank you fojoining us tonigh see you next time.
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ptioning sponsored by rose communications captiod by media acss group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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